This is the sixth in a series of posts about the elements of a successful newsletter.
6. Writing Style
Your main task as a newsletter writer is to get your newsletter read. Period.
So that means your writing should not get in the way of what you are trying to say.
What do I mean by that?
Simply that your writing is a means to an end; a way to convey the message you wish to convey. It should be clear, concise and use language that is familiar to your readers.
Take a newspaper article as an example. It starts with a headline that telegraphs clearly what the article is about. Then the first paragraph is either a summary of the story or some kind of teaser to encourage you to read more. The rest of the story gives an increasing level of detail, but nothing is repeated and no space is wasted. There are no extra words -- no waffle -- and the words that are used are simple and direct.
I'll deconstruct a typical article in a later post to show what I mean more clearly.
Now, as I said in my post about design, your writing style should match your business brand. If, for example, you set a formal tone for your business, then make the content of your newsletter formal too; if you prefer a more informal atmosphere for your business, then make your newsletter more informal and chatty.
But the most important thing is to get your newsletter read. So don't let your writing get in a way.
For a cheat sheet of 5 ways to improve readability, see this excellent post by CopyDiva. She lays out these rules:
- Use the active voice:
- Use simpler language
- Vary sentence length
- Use the language of your audience
- Drop the word “solution” from your vocabulary
Worth sticking up on the wall.
(Photo on this post by asifthebes)